• 58 years of friendship between Japan and the Phillippines

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    Gracing the opening of Eiga Sai, which kicked off the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month are (from left) Shuji Takatori, Japan Foundation managing director, Marline Dualan, Shangri-La Plaza marketing division head, Madam Etsuko Urabe and Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and Wilma Isleta, Film Development Council of the Philippines head of Cinema Evaluation and Coordination. PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDE BAUTISTA

    Gracing the opening of Eiga Sai, which kicked off the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month are (from left) Shuji Takatori, Japan Foundation managing director, Marline Dualan, Shangri-La Plaza marketing division head, Madam Etsuko Urabe and Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and Wilma Isleta, Film Development Council of the Philippines head of Cinema Evaluation and Coordination. PHOTO COURTESY OF JUDE BAUTISTA

    The Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July celebrates 58 years of longstanding partnership and cooperation between the two Asian nations.

    To share Japan’s rich cultural heritage with the Filipino people, the Embassy of Japan and the Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM), along with different partner organizations, are co-presenting a variety of fun and exciting cultural festivities for everyone to enjoy.

    Starting off with the 16th Eiga Sai Film Festival, there are 16 contemporary Japanese films screened at the Shangri-La Cineplex from July 4 to 13 that showcase various stories of families overcoming calamities. During the opening night on July 3, Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe said that Japan and the Philippines are “family.”

    “As a family, we need to really get to know each other better by laughing and crying over the same subject, and understanding friendship,” Ambassador Urabe said. “It’s very important that we have this annual event so people will know more about the Japanese culture,” he added.

    Now on its sixth year, the J-Pop Anime Sing and Dance Contest returns. The top finalists for the singing and dance categories will take center stage to showcase their talents to their fellow Japanophiles and music enthusiasts. The grand finals is slated on July 19 at the Cinema Center Stage, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

    Then, designers, builders, engineers, and other practitioners in the architectural discipline from various regions in Japan have brought together the traveling exhibition How Did Architects Respond Immediately After 3/11?”

    On view beginning today until July 14 at the GT Toyota Hall of Wisdom of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, the exhibit displays a myriad of projects and construction proposals the architects implemented in response to the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    The exhibit divided the different projects in three phases: Emergency Responses, Temporary Housing, and Reconstruction Projects. It also includes Foreign Proposals as the tragedy was well known around the world. It shows how Japanese architects strived to reach the common goal of reconstructing and reviving the devastated communities.

    To cap the friendship month, JFM and PETA Theater Center will present back-to-back performances of Filipino and Japanese performers.

    PETA’s own performers will present “Strong Boy, Deaf Boy, and a Girl in an Abaya,” a story of struggle and hope, featuring the lives of children survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. Also taking center stage, the creative Japanese performing group Dora Company will present “Ayanasu,” an improvised non-verbal performance, on July 26 at the PETA theater, with shows scheduled at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

    With the whole month of July dedicated to the oriental culture, immerse yourself into the distinct Japanese life with these on-going activities especially prepared for the cultured Filipinos.

    WITH A REPORT FROM EANA MANIEBO

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